Winx’s absence from the Apollo Stakes isn’t the only reason Gary Moore is upbeat about Classic Uniform making a successful comeback to racing at Randwick.
The Rosehill trainer hasn’t saddled up a runner in Sydney since before Christmas, but he expects the experienced gelding to make that wait worthwhile.
Although Saturday’s Group Two feature over 1400 metres is short of Classic Uniform’s optimum distance, Moore says the five-year-old’s trial form suggests he is capable of winning first-up.
Classic Uniform is seeking his third successive win after hitting form at the tail of his previous preparation with victories in the Group Two Hills Stakes (1800m) and Group Three Craven Plate (2000m).
“His trials have been fantastic. He’s never trialled like this in his life over 900 and 1000 metres,” Moore said.
“For a horse that’s been winning over 2000 and 1800 metres his trials were sort of unbelievable in how he’s held his ground.”
Classic Uniform was a close second to subsequent Expressway Stakes winner Trapeze Artist in a trial last month and third on February 5 in a heat won by leading sprinter Redzel.
Classic Uniform’s main goal this campaign is the Group One Doomben Cup (2000m) on May 19.
“I’ve kept him on the fresh side. He’s showed good gate speed in the trials and if you get to lead you never know what might happen,” Moore said.
With the Gerald Ryan-trained Deploy also bypassing the Apollo, Moore expects Classic Uniform to have a say in setting the tempo of the race.
“I can’t see why he can’t run well. He’s been trained to run well first time out,” Moore said.
At the other end of the experience spectrum, Moore is pondering two options for Lucky Champion’s first career start on Saturday.
The two-year-old has been nominated for the $150,000 Pierro Plate (1100m) but could head to Newcastle for a $30,000 Maiden Handicap (900m).
“We’ll take the easier option after the fields are finalised,” Moore said.